A recent SPYxFAMILY fan art depicting protagonist Anya Forger as a black woman has sparked debate and controversy on Twitter within the anime community. Twitter user @SoulKingLives posted what is, presumably, their original fanart of SPYxFAMILY’s Anya depicted as a black character.
Representation of the black community is something severely lacking in animanga at large, a trend which has been true for a long time. While there are series that break the mold to a degree in this regard, the overall lack of representation typically leads to fanarts such as the SPYxFAMILY art discussed here.
Follow along as this article breaks down the situation, as well as some of the conversations and debates surrounding the art’s posting.
SPYxFAMILY fanart reimagines Anya Forger as person of color, Twitter erupts in debate
SPYxFAMILY fanart troubles
As mentioned above, Twitter user @SoulKingLives recently posted what is presumed to be their original fanart depicting protagonist Anya Forger as a person of color. The following conversation is, unfortunately, showing a much more exclusionary and prejudiced side of the anime community.
While this portion of the community does exist, it’s thankfully not the only portion, and certainly not the majority. Many have outwardly stated their support for the representation @SoulKingLives has achieved with their art, as well as defending its existence to those who criticize it.
There seem to be two main camps on the matter. The first is those who support the drawing and the representation it shows, with the second being those who disagree with the drawing, whether for artistic integrity or for critique of the importance of representation.
There are also those who feel that this art being a topic of debate in and of itself is somewhat superfluous. Many of those who feel this way point to genderbending, the fanart concept of turning a male character female, or vice versa. They argue that, like genderbending, this is merely a different take on a fictional character.
Ignoring the social constructs that inherently surround and permeate the discussion of this art, the fan art itself is incredibly well done and well received. Many of those detracting from the artwork, whether for accusations of “black-washing” or copyright infringement, do emphasize that the art is of incredibly high quality.
This praise is both earned and deserved by @SoulKingLives, who has truly created a beautiful piece of fanart celebrating the SPYxFAMILY series. While not everyone may feel this way, those who see beauty in the art beyond their opinions regarding its surrounding controversy agree with its quality.
This recent SPYxFAMILY fan art has, unfortunately, once again, brought out some of the worst in the anime community. It unfortunately shows that many are still prejudiced to the point of being upset by a black-washed fanart piece, while genderbent art is completely ignored by the same people.
The SPYxFAMILY anime has also received incredible amounts of attention in the two weeks since premiering. This likely added further fuel to the fire here, driving people to the conversation to capitalize on a series that is already well-known and trending.
Despite the medium having some less than acceptable issues with people of color representation in the past, the contemporary community and industry strives to change this. While this controversy has unfortunately shown a seedy underbelly to the community, it has also shown that the vast majority of anime fans are welcoming and unprejudiced people.